Friday, April 27, 2012

Who Says Disney Isn't a Fashion Show?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vegetarian Crockpot Chili

I have mentioned this recipe a few times in my Menu Plan Mondays. I had vegetarian friends coming over for dinner on a work/weeknight. So I knew I needed a crockpot recipe, but obviously also meat free. I couldn't make my favorite crockpot lasagna because you can't let that cook all day or you will come home to a crock of black tar. I found this recipe on the internet and since it had tons of good reviews, I went with it. (I did adapt it a bit to my taste) I honestly was scared serving something I had never made before, but I didn't have much of a choice. I am SO GLAD that I did. This was so delicious.

Now when you are preparing it, I don't blame you for being scared at the amount of green you see before you mix it all together. I promise you though, that it all cooks down and away. Lots of nutrients being snuck in to this one! This is great for a Meatless Monday, or you can do what I did and freeze individual portions to be re-heated in my Lunch Crock. It makes an amazingly filling lunch!

Now don't be scared by the amount of ingredients. Most of these are cans that are opened, drained and dumped in the crock. Another chunk are spices.

Ingredients

  • 1  can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can vegetarian baked beans
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil





Looks pretty crowded I know...don't be scurrrred!




I didn't want my chili to be super chunky with veggies, so I used my PC manual food processor so I had to chop the veggies down a bit. Even in a regular processor you would want to cut them up a bit.




I adore this little contraption. It is hands down my fave PC product ever. I can't beileve how much work it does with a few pumps!




I love cutting up zucchini. It cuts like butter.





Throw them on in with the celery. Continue this process with the rest of the veggies.





I put them all in a bowl and set aside for a few. Or overnight if plan to prepare in the morning. If so, I go ahead and measure out the spices and put them in a small bowl as well.





Next you need to sautee the veggies for a bit. I've been in to using coconut oil instead of olive oil. The health benefits seem to trump that of olive oil. Plus this jar is really cool looking. :)





Get some melted down in a pan, or if using any kind of oil, let it heat up a bit.





Let the veggies sautee for a bit.





While the veggies are doing their thing, go ahead and dump the rest of the ingredients in the crock.





When the veggies are done to your liking, toss them in along with the spices.






Give it a good stir and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours. I actually cooked this batch overnight so I could take it for lunch. (the first time I made it, it cooked for 10 hours and was just fine)






This was my lunch in my Lunch Crock after re-heating under my desk. Delicious, nutritious and genius!


Do you have any meatless dishes in your family? After watching Forks Over Knives I've really tried to incorporate more meatless dishes in to our diet.




Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday


Nothing too fancy this week, but I will be posting a few recipe so stay tuned for those!

Monday-Crockpot Vegetarian Chili-I'm going to freeze this in individual lunch portions for my lunch crock. I'm hoping to do this every week with something new so I don't get bored. (I will be posting this fantastic recipe)

Tuesday-Pizza Titanics & sliced fresh veggies-The kids love these and so do I since they are SO fast! Perfect for activity filled nights. (I will be posting this as well)

Wednesday-Hamburgers & Homemade Fries using my new PC fry cutter thingy. I'm hoping they turn out!

Thursday-Healthy Hamburger Helper-I've been wanting to make this for months. Tonight is the night.

Friday-Tombstone Extra Cheese Pizza-*family fave* & salad

Saturday-OUT

Sunday-leftovers or freezer potluck!

How is your week shaping up? Anything new you are trying? If you need some inspiration or you want to change your life and learn how to menu plan, visit http://www.orgjunkie.com/ for everything you need!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby & Bridal Showers-Office Style

Have you ever thrown a work shower or party? They can be a bit tricky sometimes. It can be a struggle to make something that lasts under an hour feel special or personal. It's also a struggle to plan how many snacks you should make because you don't know who will show and who won't as everyone is usually invited to come. I have thrown or helped throw quite a few myself, and I've found a way to battle both of these issues.

1. To make it personal, I find out what the person is in to. I grill their friends and family if necessary. I find their favorite food or treat and serve that. Baby showers are particularly fun in the snack area as I like to serve what everyone has observed her snacking on or craving. If someone has a favorite candy, or really love a particular flavor, I might make a treat out of that. This shows the person that you went to some effort to recognize them for who they are and most people are quite touched by it.



This was a "Return to Oz" themed going away party which included his fave snacks: Riesens, Red Vines, chips, donuts, & water!

2. You do not have to feed everyone a big ole plate of food. Most people are quite polite, sometimes more for the fear of looking like they took too much which ends in you having tons of stuff leftover. That's not a huge deal in an office as you know it will get eaten, but who has money to waste nowadays? I make what I make and when it's gone it's gone. I will usually make one batch of cupcakes and then a cake to go with it. Cakes slices can always be cut small if need be. (I did this recently when I made these adorable acorn cupcakes for a work baby shower)



3. Recruit help and/or utilize the help that is offered. Sometimes when you are working on a shower you get people who genuinely want to help. I always ask them to do at least one thing. Have them bring one thing or buy one thing. This helps tremendously in the end and it lets someone else show their love for the guest of honor. Not everyone likes to be in charge and that's ok. Just make sure that you include them as a hostess when you are printing flyers or sending out e-mail invites.



One of my girlfriends who took a job in Japan. We wanted to make sure she remembered she was an "American Girl".


Below you will see pictures of my best friend's bridal shower. This was obviously my favorite. Yes I am lucky enough to work in the same place as my BFF. :)

She is a very classy girl, and I wanted to reflect that. I went with a brunch theme. She is loved by so many that I had oodles of people wanting to help. I had each person make or bring one of her favorite things:

Quiche
2 kinds of Pasta Salad
Chips & Dip (her guilty pleasure!)
Champagne Cake
Macadamia Nut & Peanut Butter Cookies
I made:
Key Lime Cheeseball
Mimosa Cupcakes

I must admit this was more of a spread than I usually have, but as I said so many people wanted to help that it made it very easy. I also knew that since she was so loved more people would be attending so I probably needed a bit more food.

For a gift, I ordered her a beautiful recipe box & cards from Etsy. I passed out recipe cards to anyone who wanted to share a recipe and had them in the box for her. It's so nice to have recipes from your work family to cherish.

Here are some pics of that event:



I used my fancy cake stands for my cupcakes. Nothing is too good for my BFF!



I found those little champagne flutes at The Dollar Tree.



There is the recipe box. She loved looking through the recipes!



Is your tummy grumbling yet?



Don't be shy! Dig in!

Everyone had a nice time and my BFF got hooked up with lots of nice lovelies from our office family.

I have thrown a few baby showers for dads in the office as well. I call them "Man Showers". Those are so much fun. You can get away with a lot when it's in the cafeteria. Never take it too serious. Have fun with it!



This was a UFC themed Man Shower that I helped throw for a daddy-to-be in our office. His wife came and it was great fun.


How could I NOT get him this onesie? I'm thinking he liked it!


So there you have it. Now go show your co-workers some love and get your party planning ON!




Do you work in an office? Do you celebrate special occasions together?

I am sharing on

 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake

Ok so this might not be from scratch. This might make some people absolutely shudder. To them I say, judge not until you've taken a bite. :) I can't always make everything from scratch and this is the most amazing dessert. Twinkies have just the right amount of salty and sweetness and they hold up for travelling even layered with cream and strawberries.



All you need is a box of Twinkies, a tub of Cool Whip, and some frozen sliced strawberries in sugar. You could totally lighten this up a bit and use fat free Cool Whip and fresh strawberries. *shudder* JK!




First you want to slice your Twinkies in half.




Set them aside and bust out a trifle bowl or any bowl for that matter.




Start with a layer of Twinkies.




Top with a layer of Cool Whip.




Add a layer of those sweet strawberries.




Repeat layering process and add the last bit of yummy strawberry syrup on the top. I usually put it back in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.




Spoon it out and eat!

This is a perfect dessert when you need something in a hurry, or even to a potluck. I don't always tell people it's Twinkies right away and nobody ever suspects a thing! It's so yummy it's hard to eat one serving! Remember this recipe when you get in a pinch sometime!



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Sales Convention-Me as Marty McFly...Nettie McFly!

Every year I get to do something super fabulous...go to my yearly sales convention. Since I work in the movie industry (ok it's the DVD side, but that's where the studios make their money nowadays!) it ends up being super fun every year. Universal is celebrating their 100 year anniversary so they are spotlighting 100 of their best movies from the last 100 years. They decided to have a costume party this year for the theme but we had to dress from one of the movies on the list. I decided to go as Marty McFly from Back to the Future. I thought it would be easy to pack, take minimal time to put on and I could dance in it. :)

Me as Marty McFly

I special ordered a calculator watch and the classic Nike with the red swoosh. I can totally rock them again!



 

One of my friends that also dressed up as Marty McFly hooked me up with this old button he's had since he sold BTTF2 on VIDEOCASSETTE. Vintage baby!



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This was an Apollo 13 Tang Cheesecake they served at the party. It was very "Tang"-y.



Some of my friends dressed up as "Despicable Me"



The Bride of Frankenstein! I don't know how she got that wig to stay on!



My girlfriend ordering from "Merlotte's Bar & Grill"




This was one of the desserts from the Mirror, Mirror lunch. This was probably my fave meal of this trip.



Yum!




Me and the lion from Madagascar. Look at the meathooks on that guy!




This was the little doggy from The Artist. His name was Uggie and everyone fell in love with him.




Here I am playing Battleship..can you believe they are making a movie based on this game?




I won a TV from the Xbox booth!!



Oh I suppose I forgot to mention I won an award this year. Yeah, I totally rock. :)



Seriously, how cool is this Cinderella glass slipper dessert?





I got this shot on the way home...such a lovely time but always ready to see my family again!


So there is a little peak in to my world. Whatsahappenin' in yours hot stuff?? ;)